Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 416 pgs
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound
Summary from publisher:
She was living in fear...
Beautiful, young widow Elise Laffont embraces her freedom during the daylight hours, running the farm she loves so dearly, but the night brings with it painful reminders of the torment she endured at the hands of her abusive husband. Fate may have taken her husband, but it hasn't erased the scars he left, and Elise wonders if she will ever be able to bear the touch of a man again.
He was a man torn by desire...
From the moment he laid eyes on the beautiful widow, Reynaud Chevalier wanted her. When disaster offers him the chance to claim her as his own, Reynaud seizes the opportunity to bind Elise to him, unaware that behind her determined bravado lays a heart shattered by the past.
I am posting this review much later than I expected to. I’ve had random emergencies destroy my life plan this week and I haven’t slept in about six days. So pardon me if this review and all others I post today are a bit incoherent.
I was really looking forward to this one. Jennifer Blake is one of those authors that was a staple in my mother’s bookshelf when I was a kid but I never read myself---strange considering that I made it a habit of stealing my mother’s romance novels from her. I do have to admit that I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. It took me a couple of chapters before I could really engage in the story at all but once I was engaged, I was hooked.
Elise was one of those characters that I had trouble liking at first but quickly ended of really liking her quite a bit. Elise was abused by her husband and expected the same from every man. She was vulnerable but she also had this strength and vivacity about her. I also loved watching her acclimate to life with the Natchez. Reynaud was equally as intriguing. He was in-between the worlds of the Natchez and the French. Blake illustrated this beautifully. I loved how he managed to overcome Elise’s fear of men. He was gentle with her. It was so refreshing as I usually stick to more heavy-handed heroes. I also loved the secondary characters. They all played such a huge role and were so well-developed.
I have never read a romance about this particular setting-Louisiana and the Natchez-French conflict. I thought I had been just about everywhere but obviously I have some gaps in my reading past. I found it to be a captivating setting. I also loved the action. The battle scenes were just plain amazing. The historical detail was rich and obviously well-researched. I particularly love all of the historical detail about the Natchez.
I definitely did not expect to like this one as much as I did. It's about a time period that I am not normally very interested in. But I unexpectedly loved it. I'm looking forward to mass ordering the rest of Jennifer Blake's books.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.